Cebuano weightlifter Ceniza wins silver in Qatar Grand Prix
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebuano weightlifter John Febuar Ceniza received an early Christmas gift after he won a silver medal in the men’s 61-kilogram Group A of the ongoing 2023 International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) Grand Prix II in Doha, Qatar on Thursday, December 7, 2023.
The 25-year-old Ceniza from Barangay Pasil, Cebu City lifted a total of 298 kilograms to finish second behind gold medal winner Myong Jin Pak of the People’s Republic of Korea (PRK) who lifted 305kgs.
It was a sweet redemption for Ceniza who earlier this year missed by only one kilogram of a podium finish in the Hangzhou Asian Games in the same weight category last October.
This time, he made sure the elusive medal wouldn’t slip from his grasp.
Ceniza had the best lift of 133kg in his snatch. He went on to lift a total of 165kgs in the clean and jerk as his best.
Meanwhile, Pak lifted a kilogram heavier than Ceniza in the snatch, 134kgs, while he had 171kgs in the clean and jerk to secure the gold.
Bagging the bronze was Malaysia’s Aniq Bin Mohamad who lifted 296kgs to earn the bronze medal. Mohamag had 126kgs in the snatch and lifted 170kgs in the clean and jerk.
The fourth and fifth placers were North Korean, Chung Guk Kim (295kgs) and United States’ Hampton Miller Morris (292kgs), respectively.
Three lifters – China’s Fabin Li, India’s Ricko Saputra, and Vietnam’s Van Vinh Trinh weren’t able to complete their respective lifts.
Before earning the silver on Thursday, Ceniza had to endure numerous setbacks including his heartbreaking Asian Games stint. He also finished fifth in the 2023 IWF World Weightlifting Championships in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia last September.
In May, Ceniza showed his potential in the men’s 61kgs division after securing a silver medal in the 32nd Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) in Cambodia.
Besides Ceniza, fellow Cebu native Elreen Ando will also compete in the 59kgs division along with Olympic gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz.
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